The Government of Mexico, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE), reaffirms its commitment to respect the dignity and human rights of migrants, while reiterating that regional migration is a phenomenon that must be addressed, in a shared and coordinated way, through the promotion of opportunities and development in the communities of origin.
Mexico recognizes the concern of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), expressed in a statement released yesterday, about the situation of migrants and refugees in the region. It is based on that same interest in the rights of migrants that Mexico centers its migration policy and is undertaking unprecedented effort to boost regional development. In terms of migration, Mexico acts responsibly and in alignment with the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, of which we have been strong promoters. Like any democratic and sovereign State, Mexico enforces its Constitution and its laws on the subject, in particular its Migration Law, which establishes, among other principles, respect for the human rights of migrants, without discrimination based on nationality, gender, ethnicity, age, immigration status or of any other kind, respect for the preservation of the family unity and considerations for the best interests of children and adolescents. The actions of the National Migration Institute, responsible for the implementation of migration policy, and the supplementary support of the National Guard, are conducted in accordance with current regulations.
The performance of its elements is carried out under protocols for the protection of human rights and with the close support of international organizations. As evidence of this support, last April, the Government of Mexico and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, signed an advisory and technical assistance agreement for the training of the National Guard in matters related to human rights, in accordance with international standards. Like the IACHR, Mexico considers it essential to promote development and decent conditions for all people in their communities of origin so that migration is an option and not a necessity.
For this reason, the Mexican government appreciates the recognition by the IACHR for the Comprehensive Development Plan for El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico (PDI), developed in collaboration with ECLAC and 16 United Nations agencies, which has been strongly promoted by Mexico at the international level and that, up until now, has received the support of the European Union, the Organization of American States (OAS) and nations such as Germany, Spain, Uruguay and Chile. Under the strategy of development as a way to address the regional phenomenon of migration, Mexico will allocate $100 million USD for the promotion of social programs such as “Sewing Life” (Plantando Vida) in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Our country maintains its long tradition of welcoming migrants. During the first half of this year, the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance (COMAR) has received more than 31,000 refugee status applications, more than triple those received in the same period of the previous year. Mexico does not agree with the measures that limit access to asylum and refuge for those who fear for their life or security in their countries of origin on grounds of persecution.
Regarding the return of asylum seekers in the United States to Mexican territory, it is reiterated that Mexico made the sovereign decision to receive a number of them, motivated by humanitarian concerns. In regard to recent modifications by US authorities to its asylum procedures and eligibility criteria, Mexico has stated that it will remain attentive to the implications that such a decision could entail for asylum seekers from other countries entering the United States through its southern border and that particular attention will be paid to ensure respect to the principle of non-refoulement, recognized by current international law. Regarding the tragic death of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his 23-month-old daughter Valeria, from El Salvador, who drowned on June 24 while trying to cross the Rio Grande to reach the United States, it was made known that both had visas for humanitarian reasons issued by Mexico.
It is noteworthy that, in its statement, the IACHR does not make public its concern or condemnation of international human trafficking networks, which carry out a multi-million dollar business at the expense of the security and integrity of migrants. There are numerous examples of the danger to which migrants are exposed to by traffickers, the most recent concerning approximately 150 people who were travelling in a dehydrated condition in an overcrowded trailer, driven along the La Tinaja-Cosoleacaque highway, and who were rescued by Mexican authorities. The Mexican government reiterates that the dismantling of these human trafficking networks is one of its priorities in terms of migration. In regard to the concern expressed by the IACHR on the protection of migrants, particularly minors, Mexico recognizes that its installed capacity to provide assistance has been surpassed by the increase in the flow of people. Therefore, a cooperation project worth 60 million pesos (≈3.2 million USD) was recently approved for the rehabilitation of migrant centers and family shelters, at the same time that the allocation of human and financial resources has been increase to improve the conditions of these facilities.
The Mexican government will also integrate multidisciplinary teams, which include social workers, lawyers, psychologists and coordinators, for the care of migrant girls, boys and adolescents. With these public policies in place and with its international leadership, Mexico continues to demonstrate its commitment to a migration that is orderly, legal, safe and respectful of human rights, as well as to make international migration an option and not a necessity.